It took Anthony Smith a full decade of fighting at middleweight before deciding to make a jump to light heavyweight. “Lionheart” did achieve success at 205-pounds, landing himself a title shot after a three-fight win streak and first-round knockout wins over former champions.
These days, Smith is on a 1-2 run, with his most recent loss happening on Saturday against Aleksandar Rakic. Now on his first two-fight skid in seven years, he’s facing a crossroad in his career, one that involves dropping back down to his first home weight class.
“I think I’ve got some big decisions to make in my career and figure out where we go from here,” Smith said during the UFC post-fight show (via MMA Fighting). “It’s super frustrating to lose to a guy that you feel that you can beat.
“I don’t know. 185’s still really tough. It’s a total lifestyle change and it’s year round. It’s not one of those things where I can get into camp and change my diet and cut down. It’s a complete lifestyle change.
“I guess that’s one of the options. I guess the other option is to take some time off and get bigger. I don’t know. I’ve got some things to decide on.”
Smith knows the struggle of making the middleweight limit, but also sees the steep competition that lies ahead at light heavyweight.
“I’ve never been one of the guys that is out here pining and calling for more weight classes but my last couple fights, it’s kind of where my brain goes,” Smith explained. “I’m just too big for 185 and you start getting to these bigger, stronger, taller, longer guys, they’re just so strong. He wasn’t passing my guard. He wasn’t putting me in danger on the ground. I just couldn’t get up.
“I couldn’t get his hands apart. I couldn’t get his head off my chest to make any space to do anything. He wasn’t overly offensive. I even was releasing posture on his head to hope that he would posture up to punch so I could at least make some space to get up.
“Listen, he fought a great game plan. He did everything he had to do to win.”
The 32-year-old Smith already has 49 professional fights under his belt. He holds a record of 33-16 (with 30 wins by stoppage).